I don't own anything. Buffy is not owned by me. It is owned by rich, talented people. I'm a nobody. Please don't sue me.

Disturbed Slumber

Black clouds covered the sky claustrophobically, as great mountains thrust from the dark earth like talons seeking to claw the heavens. All was cold, and a terrible stillness sat upon the land, waiting for an end to its interminable brooding. For centuries nothing had changed in Nidafjöll, but that time of quiescence was at an end.

Change was heralded by the crowing of a sooty red rooster, its call echoing from mountain to mountain as it filled the silent land. In a valley between two of the forbidding mountains was an area of great devastation, as the stunted plants which grew in other areas lay withered and dead in that place. As the crowing echoed through that valley, a great figure stirred from its cave, its long slumber interrupted by the sound.

All was still again, until a great roar rent the air, signaling the awakening of a terrible creature. It emerged slowly into the dim light, its long sinuous neck leading the way. It strode upon four legs, and was covered in black scales which glittered as it moved. Its body slowly stretching as it yawned, a mouth full of razor sharp teeth on prominent display.

As it began its journey, no being dared impede its progress. The great beast had eaten all who had opposed it for more than a millennia, and few were foolish enough to stand in its way. The dragon would have welcomed such a challenge however, as it drooled poisonous saliva as it contemplated its next meal.

Soon it would devour villages of men all across Sweden, and all of Midgard would once more tremble at the wrath of the dragon Fafnir.

Buffy sat up with a gasp. She was soaked in cold sweat, but her mind was still locked on the vivid images of her Slayer dream. Only once before had she seen a dragon, when she had stood over Glory's portal, but what she had experienced in her dream was far more terrible than that small beast which had slunk into the world.

Standing, Buffy swiftly dressed and headed to her new Command and Control. Her old castle had been destroyed by the forces of Twilight, and she had lost most of her best equipment with it. Fortunately, Xander had become an expert at dealing with logistics, and he had managed to put together a basic set up before she had finished getting her troops settled. Things were a bit more primitive than they had been, but she had everything that she needed to save the world. Or, as the case was in that instance, Sweden.

When she arrived she hesitated for a moment, surprised to see Xander up at that hour. From the condition of his hair, she saw that he had just showered, and so guessed that he was up for the day. She had hoped that she was too early see her friend, having been doing her best to avoid him ever since they had returned from the Otherworld.

Buffy and Xander had grown into closer friends than ever before while working together to run her army in the war against evil, but she had never been good about opening up about her feelings, and after being burned so often, she was twice as wary about talking about her love life. Xander and her had rarely discussed it in the past, as he had usually hated her boyfriends, and she wasn't sure how he would take the fact that she had fallen in love with Satsu.

To be honest, Buffy wasn't even sure how to take that fact. She hadn't realized how much she had felt until her love had been used to steal Satsu's soul, which had simultaneously revealed her true feelings to both herself and Xander, as well as provided the perfect demonstration for why Buffy and love were completely incompatible. Knowing how she felt for Satsu, she was even more determined to keep her as far from herself as possible. Somehow, though, she doubted that Xander would agree with her decision. It was a fight she really wasn't looking forward to.

Xander noticed her, and gave her his patented grin. "Wow! This must be a record. I didn't think you even knew this time existed."

"Hey!" Buffy objected, grinning. "I've been up this early lots of times."

"Staying up all night doesn't count," he said.

"It so does! Besides, the early Slayer stakes the vamp," Buffy said, before frowning. "Except, you know, not, what with the whole vamps not being up during the day thing."

"Truer words," Xander agreed with a sage nod. "So, what drags you out of bed at this hour, oh baggy-eyed leader."

"Baggy-eyed!" Buffy yelped, her hands going to her face. "I'm not... its not my fault. I didn't put on make up, an-and I've been working so hard... and..."

She glared at Xander as he began to chuckle. "Sorry, Buff. They do call it beauty sleep for a reason, you know."

Buffy pouted at him for a moment, any guilt she had been feeling at avoiding him swept under the rug at his gentle teasing. She knew he would push for a conversation eventually, but his banter obviously showed his willingness to let it wait, something that she really appreciated. Finally, she sighed, becoming serious. "How're you supposed to get forty winks when you dream about a big black dragon eating Sweden."

"Sweden?" Xander asked. "What, does it like meatballs?"

She rolled her eyes. "Slayer dream. Evil dragon. Research it."

He gave her a sloppy salute. "Aye, aye, ma'am."

Buffy yawned, giving him a lazy wave as she left the room. "I'm gonna catch a shower. Tell the researchers to step on it, and call Willow in. This is big. I can feel it."

"You heard her," Xander said to the staff. "We've got work to do."

Author's Notes

For the second part of this tale, things move into Norse mythology. Nidafjöll is a region of Hel, and the name means 'dark mountains.' Its the place where the dragon Nidhogg comes from, and since I didn't want my Fafnir to live in Midgard (Earth), I decided that it would be a good place for him to dwell. The red rooster dwells in Hel and its crow, when joined by two other roosters, is supposed to signal the end times. In this case, its just used to wake Fafnir up. That I made up on my own, but it seemed oddly appropriate.

The image is a public domain picture of Sigurd testing the sword Gram.